News & Notes: Here’s What’s Happening Around the Northwest

STCU to Open Qualchan Branch

STCU recently announced plans for a 19th branch location, in the Latah Creek Plaza.

Ground-breaking is set for late 2015 on the STCU Qualchan Branch at 4233 S. Cheney-Spokane Road. The new branch is scheduled to open in 2016, with five employees.

Rather than starting from scratch, STCU will nearly double the size of the former America West branch, giving the building a totally new look in the process. It will employ the same craftsman-style architecture that has been the hallmark of recent STCU branch locations, including South Valley and Crossroads (Coeur d’Alene).

The new branch also will feature STCU’s first free-standing drive-through facility.

“The Qualchan Branch will provide great service and convenience to our members in Latah Valley and surrounding areas, and great access for anyone on U.S. Highway 195,” said Tom Johnson, CEO and President of the region’s favorite credit union. “We can’t wait to move in!”

STCU will lease the Qualchan Branch location from Spokane-based NAI Black. Other businesses at the plaza include Tidyman’s, Latah Creek Animal Clinic, Chaps bakery, and Latah Bistro, among others.

Clackamas Federal Contributes $50,000 to Clackamas Community College

With a donation of $50,000, Clackamas Federal Credit Union (CFCU) is honored to be the premier sponsor for the upcoming Clackamas Community College (CCC) fundraising gala Viva Clackamas. The sponsorship will provide scholarships to ten students in the 2015-16 school year.

Viva Clackamas, to be held on November 7 at the Oregon Golf Club, will launch the final year of the Clackamas Community College Foundation’s $10 million campaign, which will culminate with the college’s fiftieth anniversary in 2016.

Overall the campaign will provide $7.5 million for endowments and scholarships, along with an additional $2.5 million for community projects, such as the Environmental Learning Center’s restoration of the Newell Creek headwaters in Oregon City.

The CFCU board remains committed to partnering with exemplary organizations like CCC that are dedicated to making a difference in our local community. Credit union board member Barry Rotrock, former superintendent of the Oregon City School District, voiced his support and enthusiasm for this important contribution.

“I am honored to be part of our donation to CCC to continue support of education in Clackamas County,” said Rotrock. “We hope to continue our partnership with the college and look for additional opportunities to work together.”

For ticket or sponsorship information for Viva Clackamas, please contact Vicki Smith at 503-594-3129 or

Rivermark Jumpstarts New Library Efforts

On Sunday, May 3, Rivermark Community Credit Union hosted a “challenge event” at the Imperial River Company in Maupin to encourage the local business community to contribute to the New Southern Wasco County Library campaign. Rivermark took a leadership role by putting up $7,500.

Four years ago the City of Maupin partnered with the Ford Family Foundation for a feasibility study to determine funding for a new library.  In order to “qualify” for a $1 million Library Grant from private funders like Carnegie or Rockefeller, the community needs to demonstrate significant commitment by raising $100,000.

Rivermark’s challenge event was a huge success securing roughly $60,000. The library committee is now ready to “go public” in a big way to raise the remaining $40,000 from smaller donors and individual contributions.

In the meantime, design work continues, as well as cost estimates and preliminary grant writing.  Construction of the new library will involve destruction of the current library and current City Hall, so the City is looking to combine and coordinate the design and construction of these two separate buildings into a “civic center” concept.  The mutual use of lobbies, ADA restrooms, meeting rooms, etc. is a huge cost savings in construction and future operating costs. 

The combined project is estimated to cost about $1.4 million.  The City would “donate” the land which we already own for the new Civic Center, about $200,000 worth.  The City would also fully-fund the cost of construction of city offices, about $300,000.  With the $100,000+ raised in donations discussed earlier, we would have about $600,000 in “matching funds” for a $1 million grant (which is viewed very favorably).

Maupin is the smallest library in the state (817 sq. ft.). It serves all of South Wasco County (south of Dufur), about 1,000 square miles with about 2,700 residents, including the small cities and townships of Wamic, Tygh Valley, Antelope, and Shaniko.  Current library membership is over 600, approximately 25% of the region’s population, second highest in the state. 

“Circulation activity” is also one of the highest in the state.  The Wasco County Library Tax District provides only operating funds, with no money available for expansion or capital improvements/construction.  The cost of a new, modern library (about 3,000 sq. ft. and with significantly expanded broadband services, more book space, and reading/activity/research areas) is about $1 million.

“This is by far the biggest thing to ever happen in South Wasco County.  It will be a ‘game changer’ for Maupin and will stand for 50+ years,” said Mayor Frank Kay. Rivermark is proud to be part of this significant capital campaign that will serve all of South Wasco County and leave a lasting legacy for many generations.

TAPCO Credit Union Partners With Tacoma Farmers Market to Support Apple-A-Day Program

The Tacoma Farmers Market and TAPCO Credit Union are partnering to support the Apple-A-Day Program. The program benefits low-income children and families in Pierce County by expanding access to fresh fruits and vegetables at any of the Tacoma Farmers Market’s four locations.

All children ages 16 and under who are accompanied at the market by a parent, grandparent, or guardian who qualify for SNAP, WIC or SFMNP will receive a token worth $1 to redeem for a fruit or vegetable of their choice from one of the market vendors. The program encourages children to create lifelong healthy eating habits by empowering them to try more fruits and vegetables at the market.

In addition to sponsoring the program, TAPCO will make a $1 donation to the Apple-A-Day Program for every TAPCO Kids Club account opened during the market season, which begins May 5, 2015 at the Tacoma Farmers Market 6th Avenue location. The TAPCO Kids Club, which is open to kids ages 12 and under, encourages youth to save while teaching them financial lessons that last a lifetime.

“TAPCO is proud to support the Apple-A-Day program which aligns with our commitment to partner with families in Tacoma-Pierce County,” said Carlyn Roy, CEO of TAPCO Credit Union. “This program provides an opportunity for us to make a significant impact in our community.”

“We are so grateful for this partnership with TAPCO Credit Union,” said Stacy Carkonen, Executive Director of The Tacoma Farmers Market. “They have been long time supporters of our markets, but this increased investment means more fresh food in the hands of children who need it most, as well as bringing added income to our local farmers. And I love the fact that this program allows children to make the choice and discover on their own which fruits and vegetables they love. ”

The Tacoma Farmers Market strengthens our community by creating vibrant open air marketplaces where consumers connect directly to local farmers and small businesses, and works to ensure fresh food is available for all residents regardless of income.

Community members interested in supporting the Apple-A-Day program can make a donation at any local TAPCO branch.

Lower Valley Credit Union Gives $3,000 to Local Community Organization

Sunnyside Transformation Yakima Valley, formerly Transformation Sunnyside, is the recipient of a $3,000 donation from Lower Valley Credit Union. This organization was selected because of its many community-based programs and projects that impact the lives of those residing in the Lower Yakima Valley communities. Projects such as their work with the Youth Ranch Pepper Seeds and Harvest Project in Sunnyside, Washington are a great example of the impact such community-based organizations can have in this area.

“We believe very strongly in supporting programs and projects that serve a purpose by providing opportunities that our neighbors need,” said Suzy Fonseca, president and CEO of Lower Valley Credit Union.

The $3,000 donation to Sunnyside Transformation Yakima Valley was just one of many donations given out this year so far by Lower Valley Credit Union. Just a few of the donations made thus far have included two $1,500 checks presented to Prosser School District’s music and arts departments, $2,500 was donated to the community-based organization Mustangs for Mustangs, while the Sunnyside Christian School received a donation over $1,000 earlier this year.

Lower Valley Credit Union is constantly seeking out opportunities to further support community and education based organizations around the Lower Yakima Valley.

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790,

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